Is Netanyahu Next?
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On May 19, 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a speech about the United States' policy on the Middle East and North Africa at the State Department. A laughable leader delivering an irrelevant message to a non-listening world. Always three steps behind the events, this time the anti-Geronimo said his country would support a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. He had no choice. Recently, the new Egypt recognized the facto the Palestinian independence, while stating Israel had no saying in the Egyptian relations with Gaza. All signs show independence would be formally declared during September’s United Nations General Assembly meeting. It may be declared before that if violence erupts in the area. Out of politeness, the UN, Russia and the European Union and Russia – in other words the entire Middle East Quartet – backed Obama’s statement.
Within an unsafe bunker, Netanyahu was sweating copiously. At full strength, the air conditioner didn’t help.
Netanyahu and Obama had a closed door meeting in the Oval Office before jointly talking to the press on Friday afternoon. Later – to the press - Netanyahu stressed that 1967 borders would make Israel an easy target, and while 45 years ago it was possible to defend these borders, today it is not. Obama smiled foolishly.
The following day – Saturday – the New York Times cited U.S. President Barack Obama as saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will ever make the concessions necessary to achieve a Middle East peace deal. He knew why Netanyahu was sweaty.
The online versions of Israeli newspapers leave place for readers to comment. An increasing number of comments define Netanyahu as “coward.” The fact it is playing on his own words toward Barak voters (“em mefahadim” – “they are afraid”) in the 1999 campaign, doesn’t make the text softer. It reminds of other times.
Eight years and twenty-five days before I was shot at in China, I was working at my computer in the little apartment I shared with Dalia who I was planning to marry. She was out that day, teaching. In almost compulsive Israeli fashion, my radio was on and I was half-listening to “Reshet Bet,” the government’s official news station.
In Rabin’s pocket was a copy of Shir LaShalom (Song to Peace), which he had just sung at the event. Ironically, years earlier - as chief of the IDF – he had censored the song from being broadcast on the IDF radio station. Later, in court, it became clear the event had been staged by the Shin Beth, through who became known as Agent Champagne, Avishai Raviv. The Shin Beth didn’t like Rabin’s turn toward peace with the Palestinians.
Years later, I was already a refugee when other prime minister decided for a similar turn. Sharon is in a vegetative state for years, after the ambulance – and not helicopter – taking him to hospital got stuck in Jerusalem’s rush hour and after being administered a wrong medicine for someone in his condition. How fortunate for the Shin Beth.
Netanyahu may be a coward, but he is not stupid. He knows the Shin Beth is watching. One false step and he will be the next in the list of Shin Beth’s accidents.
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